Sunday, February 11, 2007

New Graphic Novels for My Classroom

Akiko Pocket Size, volumes 1-5, by Mark Crilley. In the first book, 4th grader Akiko goes to the Planet Smoo and helps King Froptoppit rescue his son, the prince. She is joined in her adventures by Poog, a floating alien, Mr. Beeba, a bookish sort, Spuckler Boach, an Indiana Jones type, and Spuckler's robot, Gax. Although these are done in black and white, Crilley is very creative in his use of panels, points of view, and cliffhangers.

Alison Dare: Little Miss Adventures, volumes 1-2, by J. Torres and J. Bone. Alison Dare's mother is an archaeologist (female Indiana Jones), her father is the masked hero the Blue Scarab, and her uncle is an international super spy. No surprise, then, that even though she goes to a Catholic boarding school, she drags her friends Wendy and Dot into all kind of adventures.

Hikaru No Go, by Yumi Hotta. 6th grader Hikaru is possessed by the ghost of an ancient Go master. Even though Hikaru has never played Go, he is drawn into the game by Sai, the ghost. She plays through him at first, but it is clear that Hikaru has talents of his own. This book reads right to left in the Native Manga style, which is probably more of a challenge for adults than kids. The reader doesn't need to know how to play Go to enjoy this book, but it seems likely that anyone who gets into the series will wind up giving Go a go.

Bone: Rock Jaw, Master of the Eastern Border, volume 5, by Jeff Smith. This is potentially the hottest book in my classroom right now. A student in my classroom beat me to owning Volume 5. I haven't read it yet. I plan to hold it, and all these other new graphic novels, hostage until some of the other newish GNs come back home to the classroom. It's been weeks since I've seen any of the three volumes of Amelia, or The 12 Labors of Hercules. I love it that graphic novels are popular and responsible for turning some of my students on to reading, but that will all fall apart if every GN that enters my classroom winds up being nicked!

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